Doctoral Supervision – practices and responsibilities

Supervision is a central and defining element of doctoral education. It is through supervised research that doctoral candidates develop a research mindset, and it is the supervisor-supervisee relationship that determines the experience of doing a doctorate. It is therefore clear that few institutional policies can be implemented successfully without taking doctoral supervision and supervisors into account.

With professional management of doctoral education, supervision has become much more than an apprenticeship for research, and supervisors have more responsibilities than before. It is time to reflect on the nature of doctoral supervision, considering the main tasks of the supervisors and how these can be supported by institutions.
Specifically, the workshop looked at the supervisor-supervisee relationship, institutional practices and how to engage with supervisors. It was an opportunity to learn and exchange good practices with colleagues from across Europe.

The workshop was aimed at vice-rectors, deans, heads of doctoral schools and research staff responsible for doctoral programmes.

The workshop was only open to EUA-CDE member institutions.


  • Wednesday 20 January 2016

    13.30 - 14.30
    Welcome address

    Karel Luyben, Rector, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands
    Melita Kovačević, CDE Steering Committee Chair
    Peter Wieringa, Vice-Rector, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands

    14.30 - 16.00
    Plenary Session I – The changing nature of the supervision relationship

    Chair: Melita Kovačević, CDE Steering Committee Chair

    Tara Brabazon, Charles Sturt University, Australia
    Yves Mny, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Italy

    16.30 - 18.00
    Paper Session I.a

    Training programme for doctoral thesis supervisors in University of Turku
    Elise Pinta, University of Turku, Finland

    Culture, Structure, and Community: Lessons from about a dozen years of cross-faculty support for PhD supervision
    P, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands

    Data guided improvements of doctoral supervision – Insights from the collaboration between the Dahlem Research School at Freie Universität Berlin and the doctoral candidates panel study ProFile
    Jakob Tesch, Institute for Research Information and Quality Assurance, Berlin
    Agnieszka Wenninger, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany

    16.30 - 18.00
    Paper Session I.b

    How to promote good doctoral supervision – Good practices and recommendations for universities
    Gunda Huskobla, UniWiND/GUAT (German University Association of Advanced Graduate Training), Germany

    Good practices and challenges in supervision in an interfacultary doctoral programme
    Saskia B, Utrecht University, The Netherlands

    Viewpoints on the expectations of the supervisors and the PhD candidates
    Mat Dumont and Gentiane Haesbroeck, University of Liège, Belgium

    16.30 - 18.00
    Paper Session I.c

    Improving Inclusive Doctoral Supervisory Skills through Collegial Reflection
    Ulrike Schnaas, Asa Cajander, Uppsala University, Sweden

    New approaches to developing the next generation: the practices and responsibilities of a mentoring supervisor
    Janet Metcalfe, Vitae, United Kingdom

    Involving PhD Candidates in their Own Education: Consequences for Supervision
    Martin Brokate Felix Dietrich, Technical University of Munich, Germany

  • Thursday 21 January 2016

    09.00 - 10.30
    Plenary Session II – Institutional support to supervision

    Janet Carton, University College Dublin, Ireland
    Franciska Kringss, University of Lausanne, Switzerland

    11.00 - 12.30
    Paper Sessions

    Paper Session II.a

    Lessons learnt – feedback from doctoral candidates, supervisors and alumni
    Heike Zimmermann-Timm, Goethe University, Frankfurt, Germany

    Doctoral supervision – from traditional “one man show” to “team collaboration” model
    Horia Iovu University Politehnica of Bucharest, Romania

    Developing a consistent approach to the delivery of a Doctoral candidate e-Diploma Supplement
    Vaughan Robinson, King's College London and Huw Morris of Swansea University, UK

    Paper Session II.b

    From institutional policies to multiple pathways to support PhD supervision at Ghent University
    Nele Bracke, Ghent University, Belgium

    How to help making critical, innovative and independent scholars - between giving and suffocating in the process of supervision. The case of Swedish Archaeology.
    Per Cornell and Tove Hjrungdal, University of Gothenburg , Sweden

    Developing research based practices of doctoral supervision in the UniOGS –graduate school
    Kirsi Pyhlt, University of Oulu, Finland

    Paper Session II.c

    Rules of engagement - the supervision of practice based doctoral researchers
    Parmjit Dhugga, University of Nottingham, UK

    The Challenge: Educating Educators
    Victoria Sarafian Medical University – Plovdiv, Bulgaria

    Changing practices and responsibilities in Doctoral Supervision at KU Leuven; challenges and opportunities
    John Creemers, KU Leuven, Belgium

    14.00 - 15.30
    Plenary Session III – Engaging and training supervisors

    Helmut Brentel, Johann Wolfgang Goethe University Frankfurt am Main, Germany
    Ercilia Garca lvarez, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Spain
    Alexandra Samper Martinez Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Spain

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